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NACL Theatre (North American Cultural Laboratory) - Highland Lake, NY

Theater or Performing Arts Center
STRUCK is an exploration of neuroscience and brain trauma. It is a poetic dance on the razor's edge of mortality, as the brain and body look for meaning, struggle to communicate, recover and re-discover the sense of "self." – Dana Duke

NACL (North American Cultural Laboratory) is a professional theatre company that creates original ensemble theatre productions, produces large-scale community spectacles, and presents a full season of innovative live performance.

Founded by Tannis Kowalchuk and Brad Krumholz, NACL operates a theatre venue and a 12-bedroom retreat center in Highland Lake, New York.

The company tours its own devised theatre productions and presents a season that features work by local and visiting artists on the cutting-edge of contemporary performance.

Committed to supporting theatre training at all stages in an artist’s development, NACL offers artist residencies, professional development retreats, master classes, stilt-walking workshops, artists-in-the-schools programs, and children's drama classes.

Visit us online to view our seasonal offering of groundbreaking theatre at

Artistic Director Tannis Kowalchuk
Artistic Director Brad Krumholz
General Manager Julio Garaicoechea
Production Manager Brett Keyser
Technical Director Zoot

Karen Flood
Brett Keyser
Tannis Kowalchuk
Brad Krumholz
Mimi McGurl
Laura Moran
Ker Wells

Evadne Giannini, President
John Roth, Vice President
Isabel Braverman, Secretary
Cass Collins
Bradley Diuguid
Heather Jacksy
Tannis Kowalchuk
Brad Krumholz
Robert Montagnese
Liz Whitehouse

Lizanne Haimes
Carol Roig
Mark Ruffalo
Melissa Sandor

Network of Ensemble Theatres (NET)
Theatre Communications Group (TCG)
Theatres Against War (THAW)
Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA)
Barryville Area Arts Association (BAAA)


NACL began in New York City at La MaMa E.T.C. in 1997 and later operated at the A.R.T./NY building in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2000 the company has operated its own theatre center, a 1920s Franciscan church converted into a theatre and, next door, a former resort hotel called Lakewood House, which now functions as the artist residence and retreat center.

NACL is artist-run and defines itself as a laboratory theatre. In tandem with its theatre-creation work, the company has developed a performer training technique that has evolved from its contact with its theatrical ancestors: Canadian theatre troupe Primus Theatre (Tannis Kowalchuk was a member from 1990-1997); Odin Teatret; and students of Jerzy Grotowski. Since 2001, the company has offered an annual performer training retreat and has taught at universities, colleges, and in workshops around the world.

NACL has created over 18 performances since 1997. It takes many months to create a performance, and every effort is made to keep performances in repertory for a number of years. The company’s work has toured across Canada, the USA, and to England, Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Mexico.

NACL performances include: Weather Project (2014/15) STRUCK (2013), Exilio: My Life As Bolaño (2011), The Little Farm Show (2010), Self-Portrait at County Fair (2009), The Lost Book of Lakewood House(2009), Hatchings (2008), The Uncanny Appearance of Sherlock Holmes (2007), The Mystery of Lakewood House (2005), The Confessions of Punch & Judy (2004), Terrotica (2003), 10 Brecht Poems (2002), Invisible Neighborhood (2002), The Time Cycle (2001), Arca Nova(2000), ASPHYXIA and Other Promises (1999), The Passion according to G.H. (1998), A Canon for the Blue Moon (1998), The Secret Storey (1997).

From 2000 to 2010, the company produced The NACL Catskill Festival of New Theatre, a summer theatre festival featuring the performances and workshops of independent ensembles and artists from across North America and abroad. The Festival has since transformed into a full season of presented works anchored by the Deep Space Performance Residency Program.

Accessibility Notes

NACL Theatre strives to make the cultural arts accessible to people with disabilities by removing barriers, providing opportunities, and focusing its efforts on accessibility services for patrons and visitors with disabilities. NACL Theatre is wheelchair accessible (and scooter-accessible) where patrons can remain in their wheelchairs or transfer to theater seats.

Eco-Friendly Notes

NACL Theatre produces theatre that addresses important issues of today including climate change, social justice, food systems, agriculture, and environmental education. In addition, Artistic Director Tannis Kowalchuk owns and operates a local organic farm—Willow Wisp Organic Farm—providing farm-fresh vegetables and beautiful flower arrangements for audiences and events. The facilities have had an energy audit and work is being done to reduce the carbon footprint.

Locally or Family-Owned Business


For our current schedule visit us online at

Seasons Open

May - November



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